The Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) is a key research project of the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

CHOICES uses cost-effectiveness analysis to compare the costs and outcomes of different policies and programs promoting improved nutrition or increased physical activity in schools, early care and education and out-of-school settings, communities, and clinics. We can help you to provide evidence for action, explain the impact on population, identify cost-effective and efficient strategies, guide resource investment, and cultivate alliances and support. Our key partnership opportunities include the CHOICES Learning Collaborative Partnership and the CHOICES Community of Practice.



Our research is focused within four key settings:


Strategies in the school setting involve policies and programs that impact formal educational settings for children, where students learn under the direction of teachers. Typically this setting refers to elementary and secondary educational spaces for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Early Care and Education & Out-of-School Time

Strategies in early care and education and out-of-school time involve policies and programs that impact formal programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and for school-age children during out-of-school time, such as afterschool and before school care and summer programs.

Communities & Government

Strategies in communities and government involve policies and programs that often involve a range of actions by various entities, like revenue/finance (taxes), health agencies (inspectional services), nutrition assistance programs (like SNAP, WIC) and transportation/planning (engineering changes to allow for bike lanes).


Strategies in the clinical setting involve policies and programs that impact children either in medical care settings (such as pediatric primary care offices, hospitals or community health centers) or in connection with medical care providers (for example referrals from primary care providers to group nutrition and physical activity counseling programs). This setting may also include treatment strategies.

Last updated:  September 12, 2023